How to Wet Distress with Chalk/Mineral Paint Tutorial


Distressing your chalk/mineral-painted furniture doesn’t have to be messy…

…or distressing (see what I did there?)

Before I rock your world with the coolest and easiest “No-Mess-Distressing” technique, let me welcome you to my bathroom…

I have an awkward space in the toilet area...
too big to ignore since it’s directly across from the toilet…


…too small to be completely useful since it’s directly behind the door, and nothing actually fits in it.

Due to the opportunity bathrooms provide for contemplation, I found myself staring daily at the weird space and imagining the possibilities (which were fairly limited given that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something only I would ever see, and the aforementioned too big/too small situation.)

It was more than a desire to have something nice to look at during “contemplation time,” I actually NEEDED to do something with that space. Then I remembered I had this and because people don't burn coal anymore...

…and, the warped door was hard to open. Plus, it had too many cracks and other issues to make it of value. Until now!

Unwilling to spend money on this project, I grabbed a jar of grey Behr sample paint that I’d already mixed with BB Frösch Paint Transformer into chalk/mineral paint for another project.


I always make my own chalk/mineral paint with BB Frösch Paint Transformer. Besides the fact that I can pick any color under the sun, it is waaaaay more affordable than any premixed brand. For a quick tutorial on mixing your own chalk/mineral paint, click here.

It is important to use chalk/mineral paint (ie paint mixed with BB Frösch Paint Transformer) for a project like this for a couple of reasons: 1. The paint will stick to your piece without having to sand off the existing finish, and 2. Wet distressing won't work with regular latex or acrylic paint.

It took about ten minutes to get the first coat of paint on the entire piece. The first coat dried so fast that I was able to get right to the second coat. Two quick coats was all this beauty needed, especially since I planned to do some distressing anyway.


Remember the gorgeous woodwork on the front of the door? Now it looked a little lost and covered up, and that wouldn’t do.

It was time for one of my favorite chalk paint techniques.


This is my go-to technique for when I want to distress through the paint to a beautiful underlying wood WITHOUT accidentally distressing through the wood finish down to raw wood.

With sandpaper, it is easy to accidentally distress through, and there’s no getting the old beautiful wood finish back if that happens.


*I tend to have a heavy hand when it comes to wet distressing, which creates a “chippy” look. I don’t always want a chippy look, but when I do, I know I can achieve it perfectly with a wet distress.

Here’s how No-Mess, or Wet-Distressing, is done:


Using a LINT FREE cloth (this is the one I use,) cover your finger with the cloth and dip it into water.

Then, gently rub any areas you want to distress. If you are after a chippy look, like the one pictured, just push a little harder.

That’s it.

Seriously, it’s that easy.


Once I had revealed all the underlying wood finish I wanted to see, I smoothed the entire piece out with a small piece of 400-grit sandpaper.


This little smoothing tip is not a distressing technique, it is a smoothing one.

IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE in how your piece looks and feels. It takes only a couple of quick passes (kind of like you are moving across your piece with a dust cloth—not rubbing back and forth like you would if you were distressing.)

With my piece freshly painted and No-Mess-Distressed, it was time to bring out the full beauty with BB Frösch Premium Finishing Wax. This is my FAVORITE wax--it dries and cures in minutes and goes on like butter.

Applying just a thin layer of wax at a time helps ensure that excess wax is not drying on your brush before it gets onto your piece.

BB Frösch Premium Finishing Wax

After applying wax, I removed excess with a lint-free wax cloth and buffed to a slight shine. I didn’t want too shiny for this piece, so this step only took a few minutes.


I tried to take a photo of this little beauty in her new home, behind the bathroom door, but the lighting isn’t awesome...

...and frankly, it got a little weird trying to position myself and my camera on top of the toilet for the sake of a good picture.

So, here she is in all her wet-distressed glory on my front porch for her photo session.



Check out all that storage!


One final shot of my photo assistant/floral arranger just for good measure…



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